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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Blind Mom Kathy Beitz Sees Baby For The First Time In Heart-Melting Video

Blind mom Kathy Beitz has received a gift that wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago. Using eSight glasses, she has been granted the opportunity to see her newborn infant for the first time.

Blind Mom Sees Baby For First Time In Video

Video of the delightful meeting hit the web on January 21, and already it’s up to more than 761,000 views on YouTube. It should hit 1 million by the end of the month.
(Come on, people, if you’re going to watch Miley Cyrus swing naked on a wrecking ball 741 million times, you’ve got to show this thing a little more love.)
The especially touching thing about this video is that it doesn’t just capture Kathy Beitz seeing her baby for the first time, but it captures her seeing the first baby she’s ever seen in her life.
That’s right. Never before was Kathy able to look at the tiny little fingers and toes of a newborn, and the first time she did, it was her own — a feeling she called “overwhelming.”
“And even to look at my husband looking at him, it was such a good feeling.”
Looking at her little boy, Kathy said she “got to fall in love with him.”

Now before you start thinking this is an end to blindness, it’s worth noting that the blind mom is legally blind, but not suffering from total blindness.
There is still a ways to go before eSight glasses, and the movement behind it, will be able to stamp out blindness altogether, but the $15,000 specs are a welcome leap in the effort to cure blindness.
According to a report from the CBC, eSight glasses are equipped with a video camera that sits over the bridge of the wearer’s nose. Images captured by the camera are enhanced and then projected onto high definition screens in front of the eyes.
“Their eyes actually perceive more when they look at the screen than they can with their natural eyesight,” said Taylor West, a spokesman for the company.

Source: Inquisitr, 24th Jan 2015

Education sector performance reviewed at Baramulla

In order to foster Education sector, timely completion of school buildings and quality education in Educational Institutions a review meeting with the officers was held under the chairmanship of District Development Commissioner Baramulla here today.

The meeting was attended by Superintending Engineer of R&B, Executive Engineer R&B, Joint Director Planning, Chief Education Officer Baramulla and Assistant Director Rural Development.

The District Development Commissioner was informed that there are 18 Educational Zones, 8 Degree Colleges, one DIET, 22 B.Ed Colleges, 05 ITIs, 50 Higher Secondary Schools, one Polytechnic Col1ege, 233 High Schools, 180 Middle Schools, 113 Primary Schools, one Jawahar Navadalaya, two Kendra Vidyalayas, 10 KGBVS and 04 Army Good Will Schools imparting education in the students. The total enrolment in the educational institutions of the district is 2,66,780.

While throwing light on the major achievements during current financial year, it was given out that 38 three roomed school buildings under SSI, 128 additional class rooms, 07 ten roomed school buildings under RAMSA and 104 works were taken up under district Sector. For uplifting and boosting the education in disadvantaged sections and backward classes 8376 Gujjar and Bakerwal students, 2867 students has been covered under Phari Speaking scholarship and 101930 students has been covered under Mid-day Meals programme. As many as 350 physically challenged students have been covered under the scheme CWSN with assistive devices like Tricycle, Hearing Aid and Wheel Chair and 1194 students have been covered under Merit Scholarship scheme.

On the occasion, Chief Education Officer Baramulla and Executive Engineers of R&B Department were directed to ensure timely and speedy completion of construction, additional accommodation of various schools with high quality infrastructure buildings and to clear the land disputes of various schools as early as possible.

Source: Kashmir Images, 25th Jan 2015

TTK Group commits ₹3.68 crore for IIT Madras cell

The TTK Group has committed ₹3.68 crore over the next five years for the newly established TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras.
TT Jagannathan, Chairman, TTK Prestige and an alumnus of the institute, inaugurated the centre at the Department of Mechanical Engineering where he did his B.Tech in 1970. The centre was launched at the reunion of the institute’s 1970 batch alumnus.
The funding will facilitate sustained efforts of a group headed by Sujatha Srinivasan, Associate Professor, and her students in the department to enable individuals with physical impairments to lead independent lives through the use of orthotic, prosthetic, and other assistive devices.
Srinivasan said that developing assistive devices for people affected by locomotor impairments is a focus area in the centre. Working prototypes have been developed for devices such as a standing wheelchair, a prosthetic knee, a swimming pool lift and a body-motion-controlled wheelchair, says a press release from the institute.
The centre will develop affordable products for rehabilitation needs, work with clinical specialists, NGOs and hospitals to field-test designs, and foster a research environment to evaluate assistive device designs and improve upon them from biomechanical and functional standpoints. It intends to work with like-minded industrial partners so that high quality designs reach the mass market at affordable prices, says the release.
Jagannathan addressing his batch mates said that the foundation provided by institute made it possible for him to comfortably post-graduate in Operations Research from Cornell University and later head the TTK Group and make contributions to product innovation.
In the past, a Chair was created by IITM in the name of TTK in recognition of support extended by TTK Group.

Source: The Hindu  - Business Line , 19th Jan 2015


Making Assistive Devices Affordable

TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development conceived by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-Madras, is working on devices to aid movement of those affected with locomotor disorders
CHENNAI: For those with locomotor disorders, the facilities available to assist their movement are either outdated and low cost or too hi-tech and available at sky-high prices.
  For the ones who cannot afford assisted devices with up-to-date technology, TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) is working on inventing assisted devices at affordable prices. The Center has been developed by the department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT -Madras, and is funded by  T T Jagannathan, chairman, TTK Prestige.
Speaking at the inauguration, TT Jagannathan said that facilities for the differently-abled were available all over the world. “Though facilities are available, providing them at an affordable cost is important. I am impressed by the Rehabilitation Research and Device Development initiative of IIT-M and the presentation made by Prof Nagarajan and Dr Sujatha Srinivasan,” he said.
“I believe that this initiative will deliver improvised devices at affordable prices for use by physically challenged people and bring quality to their life. We are extremely happy to contribute to this research project. I thank IIT-M for providing me this opportunity to fund a project that will be useful to the society,” Jagannathan added.
Sujatha Srinivasan, associate professor, department of Mechanical Engineering, who is in-charge of the project, said that R2D2 aimed to fill the gap between the extremes of facilities available to those with locomotor disability. “Functional knee joint, that is suitable for uneven terrain, affordable standing wheelchair that enables the user to lift to standing position, a body-motion controlled wheelchair and Saathi walker that supports those with locomotor difficulties and makes them move on their own are a few of the devices being worked on by the R2D2,” she said. 
With more research and development, the new R2D2 centre would leverage the engineering strength of IIT-Madras and use it for locomotor assistive devices in future.
The purpose of the centre, is to make affordable products for our country’s rehabilitation needs, work with clinical specialists, NGOs and hospitals, to field-test the designs, and foster a research environment to evaluate assistive device designs and improve upon them from biomechanical and functional standpoints.The purpose of the Center is to make affordable products for country’s rehabilitation needs, work with hospitals and NGOs and field-test the designs among others.

Source: The New Indian Express, 20th Jan 2015

Be the change you want to see

On Republic Day, we speak to a few individuals who believe that power to change society rests with right action

Every citizen has a role to play in the betterment of a society. Photo: G. Sribharath
Every citizen has a role to play in the betterment of a society. 

Another Republic Day is here already and patriotism somehow manifests on days like this when we watch the parade on the telly or perhaps go on a patriotic movie marathon. However, more often than not, many of us don’t quite care about the city/country we live in, the rest of the year.
When we encounter potholed roads, loose cables, or garbage dumps that haven’t been cleared in years, it’s so much easier to crib and complain than to be an agent of change.
Thankfully, however, there are an impressive number of individuals, organised groups, and non-profit organisations in and around the city, which are taking up the challenge on their own and spearheading the change they wish to see, in their own unique ways, and inspiring people around them to follow suit.
When you think of cleanliness drives and beautifying one’s surroundings, The Ugly Indian, is perhaps the first group that comes to mind. An anonymous group of individuals who swear by the motto ‘Kaam Chalu Mooh Bandh’, they perpetuate the idea that ‘all of us are ugly Indians, and only we can save us from ourselves.’
The method of fixing ugly spots is called Spot Fixing by them- and the shared belief is that a street, a neighbourhood, a city and a country can be fixed - one ugly spot at a time. According to them ‘The common citizen who spot fixes spends a few hours every week focusing on local ‘spots’ and fixing them to the best of his ability. Using his own hands, time and money.’
Founded by Arundhuti Gupta, Mentor Together is another group of committed people who work to match urban poor children, enrolled in formal education programs, to professionals, who will serve as their mentors, based on shared academic, career and personal interests as they believe that mentoring can play an important part in bringing about empowerment through education, as it offers urban poor children the socio-economic partnerships that they lack, coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.
U&I, a volunteer driven charity, established in 2011 by Satish Manchikanti and Ajit Sivaram, is committed to working towards positive social change in the spheres of education, anti-trafficking, child and women welfare and mental health. According to Ajit, “U&I has always been about aiming to make a difference by educating and rehabilitating people from various communities. We want to see a city where children have a better shot at education. Nine out of 10 kids drop out of school before they turn 14. We want to be able to help them stay in school, excel and get better jobs. We want to see a culture in our city where everyone is involved in social change. We have students and young working professionals in Bangalore teaching underprivileged students and helping them believe in their dreams and helping them get one step closer to making them a reality. We have classes run by 600+ volunteers, 7 days a week all over the city. Each of these volunteers are doing their part to be the change in our city every day.”
Working with children with special needs is definitely not the easiest of jobs but at Manna, a non-profit organisation providing holistic development to children with developmental disorders, especially focusing on children living in slums and nearby villages, street children, orphans and semi-orphans, Srithi Abhinatha, an intern with the organisation, says: “At Manna, we firmly believe that children with developmental disorders can be nurtured to develop basic developmental and functional skills and be mainstreamed into society to live full rewarding lives. Early identification, intervention and the right environment improves the quality of life of these children.”
Empowerment of women is an issue that is close to Sunita Suhas’ heart. A self-taught quilter, Sunita set up Indian Yards. Her team members are women from a backward community living around the Mysore palace. She says: “I initially used to quilt only for myself and my family. One day, I found that my household help was interested in what I do, so I started teaching her my craft. Soon enough, she began to bring other women from her community to also learn quilting and make a living out of it. Many of these women are sole breadwinners of their homes and working as domestic helps doesn’t fetch them enough to run their household. I think the best thing a woman can do for another is to teach her so that she in turn can teach someone else. Today, Indian Yards has expanded beyond what I’d imagined back when I started and it feels so good to be a part of the change I want to see in society.
There are so many more people who deserve mention but for paucity of space, we can only doff our hats to them, and maybe also take it upon ourselves to make a difference in our city and country, starting today.

Source: The Hindu , 25th Jan 2015

Mentally-Retarded Minor Girl Raped in Ghaziabad

An eight-year-old girl was raped by an unidentified person in Mussoorie area of the district, police said today.

Mussoorie police station in charge Virender Yadav said the girl was missing since 8 pm of Friday. After searching a lot, her family members found her in an unconscious state at a nearby lonely place.
She was immediately rushed by her rickshaw puller father to a private nursing home for treatment who informed the police later, Yadav said.
The minor has been sent for medical examination, he said, adding that an FIR has been lodged in the matter.

Source: The New Indian Express Via PTI , 25th Jan 2015

Nerul footpaths may be lowered for senior citizens in Navi Mumbai

The civic body will reduce the height of various foothpaths in sector 19, Nerul to nine inches from that of the road. The decision was taken after residents, especially the senior citizens, complained that they found it difficult to walk on them.

Civic engineers, who have been given the job, said that the footpaths, built by Cidco, had major elevations. "The height of these footpaths was 2.75 feet, hence, most of the residents preferred walking on the road," said the engineer.

He added that the capacity of drainage system under these footpaths was not sufficient, as they have not been repaired for over two decades.

Accordingly, two footpaths, measuring 90m and 75m, are being rebuilt to the standard size. The work to widen the drainage channel has also been undertaken. "A footpath with a height of 2.75 ft didn't serve any purpose," said corporator Netra Shirke.

A total of Rs 10 lakh is being spent on the repairs and additional Rs 10 lakh will be used to widen the gutters.

The 90-m long footpath is situated right at the entrance of the senior citizens recreational centre, built by NMMC. "The footpath is also the access route to the centre, so when we have to go to the centre, it becomes a necessity to climb the footpath, which, for many, is not an easy task. The demand to reduce the height of the footpath was made long back," said senior citizen DN Chapke.

The civic body also plans to build ramps for the physically challenged at both the ends of these two footpaths.

Source: TOI, 23rd Jan 2015

Kaunser Special School, AmericaCare organise relief camp for special kids - SRINAGAR

Kaunser Special School for differently-abled kids organized a relief camp for student enrolled in the school, a statement issued here said on Thursday.

Operating from Shalimar, Srinagar, the school authorities in collaboration with a Mumbai-based NGO, AmericaCare and CRPF battalion also distributed relief package among widows and orphans.

The relief package included 38 blankets for those widows and orphans who were affected during the September 7 devastating floods.

Differently-abled kids were provided with forearm crutches by AmericaCare. “I am thankful to the school authorities for taking good care of my child,” said Hafeesa, mother of a physically-challenged kid enrolled at the school. Speaking on the occasion, the chairperson Tasleema Shah said that people and government need to come forward to help the differently-abled kids.

Among others Commanding Officer CRPF, Dr. Nazir Shah and Dr. Riyaz were present on the occasion.

Source: Rising Kashmir, 25th Jan 2015

Physically challenged persons protest - Chamarajanagar

Physically-challenged persons staged a protest demonstration against the hike in the price of concessional bus pass issued by the KSRTC, here, on Thursday. The protest was held under the banner of Jilla Angavikalara Kshemabhivrudhi Samithi.

The benefits extended by the KSRTC to physically-challenged persons are being gradually cut by subsequent governments, since the free bus pass was issued for the first time in the year 2004. When it was introduced, it was free for travelling across Karnataka. Now, it was limited up to a distance of 100 km from the place of residence of the beneficiary.

The annual fee of the pass, which was Rs 250, has been hiked up to Rs 780. The hike in the price of the pass — at a time when the price of diesel has reduced drastically — was unjustified, they complained.

Source: Deccan Herald, 23rd Jan 2015

BB plans to bring the disabled into banking network - Bangladesh

The central bank has asked the commercial banks to allocate fund under annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to ensure banking services for physically challenged persons.


Scheduled banks asked to allocate fund under



BB plans to bring the disabled into banking network
"We want to bring the physically challenged persons into our banking network through strengthening the ongoing financial inclusion programmes in Bangladesh," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE Wednesday.

He also said the central bank has already taken various measures to ensure banking services for physically challenged persons.

Around 10 per cent of the total population in the country is physically challenged persons, the official added

The central bank issued a circular in this connection Wednesday asking the chief executive officers and managing directors of the scheduled banks to take necessary steps to implement the instructions.

 "We've issued the circular in line with the guidelines on CSR, issued on December 22 last," another central banker said.

The dedicated CSR unit/foundation will propose budgetary allocations for CSR programmes annually for approval of the board of the bank/financial institution; the board will approve allocations by appropriations from annual post tax net profits, according to the guidelines.

Earlier on October 28, 2009, the central bank asked the commercial banks to assign an official as focal person of each branch to make the banking services easier for physically challenged persons.


Source: The Financial Express, 22nd Jan 2015

NGO launches handbook to ‘equip’ corporators on 2014-34 city plan

With an intention to equip all the stakeholders involved in the process of preparing for the upcoming 2014-34 development plan (DP), city-based NGO Praja Foundation and the Urban Development Research Institute (UDRI) launched “Planning for Mumbai”, a handbook to “de-mystify sector-wise details and principles” of the DP, Wednesday.

The handbook is divided into three stages for each of the 10 segments, which include the current status of the facilities, the needed assessment followed by relevant suggestions and questions that can be raised by councillors as well as citizens during the on-going consultations and deliberations.

The 10 sectors are housing, education, health, water and sanitation, environment, livelihood, transportation, public spaces, energy, governance and urban form.

“Since there are going to be a lot of deliberations in the coming few months, the handbook will provide ready information to citizens and councillors for asking questions and providing suggestions in the meetings,” said Pankaj Joshi, executive director at UDRI during the launch of the handbook. The handbook was launched by Mayor Snehal Ambekar and Member of Parliament Rahul Shewale at the mayor’s cabin in BMC headquarters.

According to the handbook, in the housing sector, 42 per cent of the city’s populations live in slums which occupy only nine per cent of the total land, which increases the demand for affordable housing units by 11 lakhs. The listed suggestions therefore include increasing affordable housing and regulating standards of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) among others. Similarly, in the education sector, the suggestions include an urgent need of an education master plan based on the parameters of Right to Education (RTE), defining priority timings for schools using public spaces and a concrete plan for schools which are friendly for the physically challenged and specially-abled.

“The data and the suggestions presented are based on a lot of primary and general surveys undertaken in the last two-three y ears. Once we present the handbook to councillors, we will also incorporate their suggestions to bring out another volume that will prove helpful to all stakeholders,” said Milind Mhaske, Project Director at Praja, during the launch.

Source: The Indian Express, 22nd Jan 2015

Anil Kumble spots special talent of Shankar Sajjan during spin hunt

Shankar Sajjan
Shankar Sajjan bowls a delivery at the spin hunt

A young player prompted former Indian captain Anil Kumble to make changes to the final 20-man list in Anil Kumble’s spin stars cricket trials list and convert it into a 21-man shortlist. Meet Shankar Sajjan – a 17-year-old leg spinner – that caught Jumbo’s, as Kumble is fondly called, eye.
In the hunt for Anil Kumble’s spin stars cricket trials across 80 towns and cities for the past two months, Kumble came across an unusual leg-spinner a few days back in Bangalore. After watching more than two thousand spinners across Karnataka, 110 finalists were picked and asked to demonstrate their skills at NRA ground in Bangalore. But one boy, Shankar Sajjan, stood out.
From the 110-man list, 20 were hand-picked to go to the final round, where 3 will be selected who will get Rs. 1 lakh each and be monitored by Kumble’s company, Tenvic.
Shankar isn’t your ordinary spinner, he is physically challenged having deformed hands. However, his spirit and passion for the game helped him overcome those odds and force Kumble to include his name in the list as a special case.
Anil Kumble said, “I was really amazed at his spirit. We didn’t pick him in the final 20 list but we will be having him in our camp as a special case. This reflects true India. Underlying talent in every walk of life. All one needs is an opportunity. I am glad I could provide one.”

Shankar came through many difficulties in life

Shankar Sajjan
Shankar Sajjan stands alongside other hopefuls
Shankar was passionate about cricket since he was a little kid, like many others in India. But, his physical deformity made things difficult for him. Three years ago, back in Bijapur, he found it hard to convince the coaches at the Shahu Cricket Club at the Ambedkar Stadium. The coaches made it clear that he had to bowl properly if he wanted to be selected. The determination of the young man became clear when he cleared his selection on merit.
He beat all the challenges that life threw at him. Apart from his deformity, he suffered a major jolt, when his mother died when he was just two years old, leaving him with his sister and brother. However, Shankar couldn’t help himself from travelling to Bangalore when a local newspaper carried the notice about the spin trials.
He said, “My uncle Sharan supported me to come for this camp. I’m big fan of Kumble sir and it’s a dream come true. He told me that he will be sponsoring my training and education needs.”
The youngster is certainly determined and his will to make it big will take him a long way. The fact that a special leg-spinner spotted Shankar amongst all the others must give him encouragement to carry on with his dream. We wish Shankar the very best and hope he achieves all that he dreams to achieve.
Here is a video of Shankar in action:

Source: SportSkeeda , 22nd Jan 2015

Corporation spends 73 % plan fund for development - Thrissur,Kerala

By spending 73 per cent of its plan fund and implementing landmark projects, Thrissur Corporation has made its mark in the State, said its Mayor Rajan Pallan.

Addressing the corporation council meeting on Wednesday, the Mayor reviewed the performance of the UDF-led Corporation so far in this term.

The projects including Rs. 35-crore road repairs, KSRTC junction development and decentralised waste management plants were major achievements of the UDF council, he noted. He highlighted the works such as development of East Fort and Naduvilal junctions and Pattalam Road, and rehabilitation project for slum dwellers at Mattampuram as feathers in the caps of the UDF council.

“The file adalats began to handle the pending complaints were a huge success. The adalats were conducted at Corporation offices and the zonal offices every 100 days. Two sessions of adalats have been held so far and the third session will be held in February. An amount of Rs. 1 crore was recovered during the adalats,” Mayor said.

For Pattalam road development the Corporation managed to get the green signal from the postal department and BSNL to demolish the buildings and compound wall to remove the bottleneck at the post office junction. The Poonkunnam road development is another landmark success,” he noted.

Listing the achievements, the Mayor said more than 22 shops were removed at the East Fort for the road widening. The shoppers have been successfully rehabilitated.

Each division was given Rs. 50 lakh for public works alone. A new system was set up to handle the complaints on streetlights. A toll free number was set up for the public to file complaints.

Councillor Annam John demanded the Corporation to complete the development works at Aquatic Complex road and Palace road before National Games. Councillor Lally James alleged irregularities in selecting the beneficiaries of housing project for physically challenged.

The Mayor said the development of Chettiyangadi will be completed soon after removing the dilapidated buildings. The Nehru Park will be renovated at Rs. 5 cr in two phases. The work for development of North and Sakthan bus stations will also start soon, he said. The initial discussions have been started for the development of Koorkkanchery junction, he added.

Source: The Hindu, 22nd Jan 2015

INEC to provide special ballot papers for physically challenged voters - NIGERIA

THE Independent National Electoral  Commission (INEC) Wednesday disclosed that it has designed ballot papers for the people living with disabilities to cast their votes without any assistance.
Specifically those with any form of visual defects  will vote with the aid  of what the electoral body called ‘Tattered Ballot Papers’ while the deaf and dumb will be provided with signs that will assist them to vote.
The Commission disclosed this development in Ado Ekiti during an interactive session with the members of the Association of the National Association of the People Living With Disabilities(NAPLWD).
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti, Mr Sam Olumekun , told the participants that nobody would be disenfranchised on account of disabilities in the forthcoming elections.
Olumekun, who was represented by the Commission’s Administrative Secretary, Mr Femi Agboola added that the special ballot papers were made for the blinds and had been unveiled by INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega during a visit of the group to his office in Abuja.
“It has always been the wish of INEC that nobody will be disenfranchised in these elections, particularly on account of disabilities. Electoral process is  for all category of people that are more than 18, so everybody is going to be fully integrated into the system  .
“We are assuring you that you will be fully involved in the electoral process. You will vote and nothing will change that. We are looking forward to taking receipt of these special ballot papers as soon as sensitive materials are sent to our office in Ado Ekiti”, he stated.
The REC disclosed that the Commission would train the ad hoc staff on how to guide the affected persons on how to vote with the special ballot papers.
“We are not  taking anything for granted. We are going to display all forms of sensitization and sign posters to guide the deaf, who cannot easily understand the rudiment of voting. You belong to a critical sector of our society and you can’t be left out in any election”.
Urging the members to troop out en masse to exercise their franchise rights on the day of elections, Olumekun  assured that security agencies would be on ground to checkmate violence  that could scare them from participating in the polls.
The Chairman of the NPLWD in Ekiti State, Mr Peter Ojo, described the INEC preparation towards the forthcoming polls,  as commendable.
Ojo said the group had got assurances from Prof Jega that there would be special provision for them to be able to participate in voting, urging the electoral body to implement the agreement  to prevent his members from being disenfranchised.
“The issue of insecurity must also be addressed because if there is violence, the lames and the blinds will be scared . They won’t be able to participate in such election because nobody wants to die no  matter how hopeless your situation is”, he pointed out.

Source: The Guardian  - Nigeria , 21st Jan 2015

Goa CM Parsekar says 'disabled people God's mistake' - PANAJI , GOA

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday said some people are born with disabilities due to the "mistake" and "negligence" committed by God. "There are some brothers and sisters in the society, who are born with certain disabilities. God forgets to give them certain things. That is negligence on the part of God and for that the child has to suffer for entire life," Parsekar said. 

Goa CM: Disabled people God's mistake

"Therefore, NGOs like Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) have come into existence. The thing which God could not do, they are doing. 

They are rectifying the mistake committed by God. I would say NGOs' work is more than that of God," he added.

 The Chief Minister was speaking at the inauguration of 'We Care Film Festival' on disability issues organised by DRAG at Margao town around 35 kms from here this morning. However, after the event, DRAG condemned chief minister's remarks, stating that the disabled were born to show the power of God. 


Parsekar: God forgets to give them certain things


 "CM Parskear, while speaking at the inauguration of 'We Care Film Festival' on disability at Chowgule college, Margao has said disabled people are mistake of God and NGOs are doing yeoman service by serving the disabled in rectifying God's mistake," DRAG chief Avelino D'Sa said in a statement here. 

"DRAG strongly objects to this statement and clarified that if God has created a person disabled it is to show people the power of God. Disabled people have more strength and will power and they are differently-abled, hence they are stronger than the normal people," he added.

 Parsekar's comments came at a time when his cabinet colleague Ramesh Tawadkar had courted a controversy last week when he said that the state would set up centres to make LGBT people "normal". The minister had retracted his statement after widespread criticism. 

Source: One India Via PTI , 22nd  Jan 2015

Saturday, 17 January 2015

विकलांग श्रेणी में आने वाले व्यक्ति भी रेल टिकट ऑनलाइन बुक कर सकेंगे -Chandigarh

अब विकलांग श्रेणी में आने वाले व्यक्ति भी रेल टिकट ऑनलाइन बुक कर सकेंगे। इस हफ्ते यह सुविधा शुरू हो जाएगी। इसके लिए विकलांग व्यक्ति को पहली बार स्थानीय रेलवे स्टेशन पर फॉर्म भरकर संबंधित दस्तावेज जमा कराने होंगे। इन्हें रेलवे अपनी वेबसाइट पर अपलोड करेगा और उस व्यक्ति को पहचान पत्र और एक नंबर देगा। यह नंबर उसे ऑनलाइन टिकट बुक कराते समय हर बार भरना होगा। इससे उसके सभी दस्तावेज सत्यापित हो जाएंगे। इसके बाद उसे और अटेंडेंट को किराए में छूट वाला टिकट जारी हो जाएगा।उत्तर रेलवे नई दिल्ली के सीनियर डीसीएम जीएम सिंह ने यह जानकारी दी। उन्होंने बताया कि इस महीने के अंत तक यह सुविधा रेलवे सभी डिवीजन में लागू करने की योजना है।


Source: IRCTC News and Dainik Bhaskar 

Comfortable transportation for physically challenged : ISTANBUL

Entrepreneur and project consultant, Abdullah Koçoğlu, has developed a passenger seat for pregnant women, the elderly and handicapped people to aid them in their commute on public transport. In his statement, Koçoğlu said that he named his project after passengers of first priority "Oturmatik," and has secured his innovation, which involves a magnetic card, by patent. 

He said that he came up with project idea when he saw that pregnant women and handicapped people found it difficult to secure a place to sit on public transport because their reserved seats were occupied by other passengers. "Unfortunately, handicapped people, pregnant women and people over the age of 65 often cannot use the reserved seats on public transport. When this project is put into practice, people of first priority will not have to worry about whether others will give up their seats or not," he said. Koçoğlu offered insight into his project, saying, "People can open the seat I have invented by using special magnetic cards. In this way, their seats will be reserved for them and cannot be used by other people who are not pregnant, elderly or handicapped." 

Koçoğlu and his team conducted research and development for two years for the project, and created all the technical designs by themselves. The seat – called "Oturmatik," a pun on the Turkish word to sit – also features an alarm system besides magnetic technology that prevents people from sitting on it once people of first priority get up.

A small part of this special seat will be covered by advertisements, and it will occupy a smaller space than regular public transportation seats. The project can also be used at bus stops, metro stations and other waiting points.

Koçoğlu, who aims to introduce his invention to the world market, said, "Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has carried out many social responsibility projects intended for women and children. This project will be a benefit to Turkey. I expect support from our Prime Minister for my project." 

Source: Daily Sabah Life , 17th Jan 2015

Reserve seats for elderly in local trains: Bombay High Court tells Railways - Mumbai

Providing relief to elderly people travelling in local trains, the Bombay High Court today directed the Western and Central Railways to reserve 14 seats exclusively for senior citizens in every suburban train by April 15.

The Bombay High Court today directed the Western and Central Railways to reserve 14 seats exclusively for senior citizens in every suburban train by April 15.

The Bombay High Court today directed the Western and Central Railways to reserve 14 seats exclusively for senior citizens in every suburban train by April 15. 

The court also directed the railway authorities to ensure that these reserved seats are utilised by senior citizens only. 

Though at present there are some seats kept in the local trains for senior citizens, they are reserved only for some time in a day and that too during the non-rush hour. 

"No senior citizen, practically, is able to avail the benefit of the seats reserved for them in the general second class compartment," observed a division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka. 

The court came down heavily on the Railways for showing hesitation in formulating a workable plan to effectively implement the decision of the Railway Board. 

The court made the observation while hearing a suo-motu case based on a letter written by a freedom fighter and senior citizen A B Thakkar. In his letter, he had raised the issues faced by senior citizens who are travelling by the suburban local trains. 

His letter had pointed out that though there were compartments reserved for the physically-handicapped and cancer patients, no such arrangements have been made for senior citizens. 

Just after the court took note of the letter addressed by Thakkar, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had sent a letter to the Railway Board last year apprising it about the difficulties faced by senior citizens in local trains. 

The decision of the railways to provide reserved seats for senior citizens came after the Railway Board acted on the letter.

Source: Economic Times,16th Jan 2015

Beijing to increase home transformations for the disabled

After disabled people in Beijing apply for a home accessibility transformation, professional designers will go into houses and offer them a renovation design, as part of the Implementation Method of Household Accessibility Transformation for the Disabled, to be released this year.
In the past, household accessibility transformation for the disabled was mainly based on project implementation, which caused a discontinuity of time and money. Also, workers of the associations for the handicapped in neighborhoods were often short on professional design and planning. Their transformation work was relatively simple.
"We found that because of the degree of disability and differing family environments, each household needs a different transformation," said Gu Jingrong, who is responsible for this project in the Municipal Disabled Federation.
"For example, in a bathroom, some need the sinks to be lowered, some need anti-skid facilities and some need an armrest on the wall."
Gu also said that in the future, the city would hold a public tender for a design company to carry out scientific and professional design. By then, the disabled individuals will be able to make their demands, which will be later assessed by professional home designers. "We will also hold a public tender for a construction team and a third-party supervision agency to ensure the project quality," Gu said.
In 2015, the city will transform the houses of 6,979 families with disabled people and 1,073 families of the severely physically disabled; 32,000 families of people with hearing impairments will be equipped with visual flashing door bells, which can also serve as fire alarms. It is expected that before the end of the year, Beijing will achieve full coverage for transformations of houses of those with severe disabilities.

Source: This Is Beijing , 15th Jan 2015

Come together, right now

Inclusion means teaching men to deal with new lives, new needs and the transformations that will inevitably happen

Everybody is here: Change happens only when men and women work together. Photo: R Ragu
                                     Everybody is here: Change happens only when men and women work together

Some years ago a group of us, all independent publishers, got together to pool our energies and find ways of collectively distributing our titles. We thought this would give us some leverage in the market. At our first meeting, five of us, all women, arrived early and were sitting and chatting, waiting for our other colleagues — as it happened, all men. The first to arrive came around 15 minutes after the meeting was due to start. He flung open the door of the meeting room in which we were sitting, looked in, and loudly exclaimed, “Oh, nobody’s come!”
Every single one of us was aghast, and two of us screamed in shock and horror. We didn’t know whether to laugh or be offended. How could he say this? How could it be that he simply did not see us?
And yet, that is by and large the sad reality of Indian men — much of the time, they just don’t see women. Or, if they do, it’s in a limited way, mainly as sex objects, or otherwise as somehow lesser beings. The idea of a woman who can be assertive, who claims and exercises her rights simply does not seem to exist.
This invisibility or absence of women is evident in many different ways. Last month a young colleague, a woman, described to me how happy she was for a man friend of hers who was taking off two months, to wander through India. “He plans to take buses and trains and go on foot and stay in cheap places and dharamshalas and so on,” she said, “and take pictures and write about his experiences.” Happy for her friend, she was also furious at the gender — and class — privilege that allowed him to go where his fancy took him. “I’ll never be able to do anything like that,” she said, “and it’s so unfair.”
Of course, it’s wrong to lump all men together and all men are neither privileged, nor leisured, nor publishers who don’t see their female colleagues! Nor is it true to say that all men see all women as sex objects or as inferior beings. Human behaviour cannot be separated from its context, and in India, we live in such a hierarchised society that discrimination exists, at every level, even between men.
But maleness, the assertion of masculinity, runs through so much male behaviour, and particularly in India. When we were children, my grandmother, who lived with us, would routinely feed all the goodies to my brothers, leaving little for the girls. Why would it come as a surprise then, if the men thus fed and favoured, down generations, grew up to assume women were nothing?
So many workplaces these days pride themselves on implementing those two buzz concepts: diversity and inclusion. But there’s little sense of how these work — for inclusion doesn’t only mean, for example, bringing in more women, more underprivileged workers, or differently abled people. It also means working with those who have never needed to be included because they were always there — the men — and teaching them to deal with new lives, new needs and the transformations that will inevitably happen at the workplace.
This isn’t to say things can’t change. As the unfortunate incident of gang-rape in December 2012 showed, sometimes it takes a brutal act like that to shake up something in society. In the mass protests that followed, men and boys joined in large numbers.
And ever since then, in Delhi at least, more and more men seem to be concerned and involved in what are seen as ‘women’s issues’. Perhaps it's time once again to recognise that age-old truth, that we’re all in this together and unless both men and women work together to transform their world, change isn’t going to happen.
(Urvashi Butalia is editor, publisher, and director of Zubaan)

Source: The Hindu, 16th Jan 2015

Compartment: Tale of differently able children

Compartment malayalam movie directed by Salim Kumar featuring Arun and Angel in lead will reach theatres in February 2015. The movie zooms into the life of two children with different ability. More than a docu – fiction, elements of humour is also added in the movie. Other than scripting the movie, Salim Kumar himself produced it also. Read more to know about the upcoming malayalam movie 'Compartment'.After donning various character roles as an actor, National award winner Salim Kumar is gearing up to present his ability behind the camera too. First time in his career the actor is helming a docu-fiction movie which zooms into the life of two children with different ability. Arun and Angel from Fort Kochi will give life to the lead characters in the movie which is titled 'Compartment'. Apart from direction; Salim Kumar himself has scripted and produced the movie. 
Compartment Malayalam Movie Stills
The movie is titled as 'Compartment' so as the world is a closed compartment with differently abled people. According to the actor, he has completed the movie after one and half years of exhaustive research after intermingling with differently abled children and their teachers. 

The story of 'Compartment' develops trough the lead characters; Arun and Angel. They belong to a sector that never got depicted in movies. It would also be a strong message against the tendency of compartmentalizing things. Being the first movie made with differently abled children in the leading roles, the actor and his team has approached The Guinness Book of World Records authorities regarding this accomplishment. 

After the post production formalities, the movie will reach theatres in February 2015. Salim Kumar is also currently working for his next project, a Sanskrit based movie based on the legendary festival 'Mamangam'. The actor himself will enact the role of the guru who trains the warriors. Even though Salim Kumar is much known for his comic roles, he is better known for his acting brilliance in the National Award winning movie 'Adaminte Makan Abu'. 

Unlike the other actors, Salim has become much selective as he thinks in a different way. During his busy schedule, Salim Kumar had found time to act in Salim Ahamed's 'Pathemari' and Deepu Karunakaran's 'Fireman'. Both movies would reach theatres very soon.

Source: Spider Kerala , 16th Jan 2015

‘1 hour of sunlight can power the world for a day’

The recent announcement by a Foreign Investment Institution (FII) that production of solar energy can become a cheaper and affordable means of alternate energy holds ground as speakers in the recently concluded 102nd Indian Science Congress also threw light on a similar possibility. Apart from affordable solar energy, the topic on Innovate and Make in India saw prominent industry persons throw light on how non-conventional energy sources needed to be exploited to save the environment.

Brushing aside concerns that the world would face an energy shortage in a few decades, Ravi Pandit, co-founder, chairman and group CEO of KPIT Technologies, said that solar energy was sufficient to provide power to the entire world. “One hour of sunlight is sufficient to provide energy to the entire world for a day only if there was affordable and cheaper methods of garnering solar energy. The systems in use to capture solar energy are not cost effective but research is on to come up with solutions that will be able to generate solar energy at a very low cost. We are also in the process of coming up with such technologies,” Mr Pandit had said during his speech in the congress symposium.

Another speaker at the congress Pramod Chaudhari, executive chairman of Praj Industries, while speaking on alternate sources of energy, said the need of the hour is to generate energy where it was consumed so as to cut down on the cost of transporting it, which led to losses and escalation of the cost.

Recently, the Alternate Energy Group of the FII had predicted that newer methods of generating solar energy would make it more affordable. The prediction can be assumed to be based on the fact that newer materials to hold solar power are being found in the world that can absorb and convert 90 per cent of the sunlight into heat.

Mr Pandit had also said that the current photovoltaic cells used to garner solar energy were insufficient and better power holding cells on the lines of lithium ion batteries were needed and that Indian scientists could play a major role in coming up with a solution for the problem.

Cook noodles using solar power

On Thursday, January 15, around 1,500 school students will be cooking noodles at Patwardhan Garden at Bandra using solar kits. The initiative is part of the energy conservation drive that is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swacchh Bharat campaign and is being organised by BJP leader advocate Ashish Shelar who will be arranging for the solar kits. The governor of Maharashtra C. Vidyasagar Rao, Union minister Piyush Goyal and MP Poonam Mahajan will also be present on the occasion. Around 100 students from civic schools and 50 physically challenged students will also take part in the event. About 150 students belonging to poor families will be allowed to take the solar kits with them.

Source: The Asian Age, 17th Jan 2015